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IU Northwest to host 27th Annual Forum on Child Abuse and Neglect

On Friday, April 28, in observance of National Child Abuse Prevention Month, the Indiana University Northwest School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA), and its community partners, will host the 27th Annual Forum on Child Abuse and Neglect, beginning at 9 a.m. in the Bruce W. Bergland Auditorium in the Savannah Center.

The theme for this year’s free event is “See Poverty … Be the Difference.”

The day will begin with registration and continental breakfast from 8:15 to 9 a.m., followed by introductory remarks by Elizabeth Guzman-Arredondo of Calumet College of St. Joseph, Marshelia Harris of IU Northwest’s School of Social Work, and Ellis Dumas of the Indiana Department of Child Services.


This year’s forum will feature a keynote address by Donna Beegle, an Oregon-based author and speaker who has devoted her professional career to helping Americans understand poverty and take action to deal with it.

While children of all income groups are victims of child abuse and neglect, the link between poverty and child abuse and neglect is well-known and well-documented. Beegle inspires and educates individuals, organizations, politicians, and entire communities with proven models to better outcomes for people in poverty.

See Poverty Be the DifferenceBorn into a migrant labor family and married at 15, Beegle is the only member of her family who has not been incarcerated. By age 25, she earned her general educational development (GED) diploma and, within 10 years, received her doctorate in educational leadership. She is an authentic voice that speaks, writes, and trains across the nation to break the iron cage of poverty for others through her company, Communication Across Barriers (CAB). For more than 25 years, she has traveled through hundreds of cities in 47 states and four countries to assist professionals with proven strategies for breaking poverty barriers.

Beegle’s inspiring story has been featured in newspapers, PBS and CNN television stories and documentaries. She has received numerous national, state, and local awards for her work.


The forum will include 14 workshops, covering a variety of topics, including human trafficking, sexual abuse prevention, and issues related to prisons, jails, and families. Representatives from the Indiana Department of Corrections, the Indiana Trafficking Victims Assistance Program, the North Township No More Secrets team, and many other organizations will provide the opportunity for extended study of these important topics. Other workshops will cover topics on gangs, immigration matters, LGBTQ issues, trends in child welfare services, engaging fathers in programs, infant and toddler mental health, and more.

Closing Plenary

Special surprise guests will present the annual Dr. Richard Hug Cherish the Children Award during the event’s closing plenary in the Bruce W. Bergland Auditorium.


Because seating is limited and lunch is provided, early registration is encouraged and can be completed here:

Walk-ins are welcome; however they are not guaranteed seating or lunch.

The Forum on Child Abuse and Neglect will provide continuing education units (CEU’S) for licensed social workers.

Parking is available in the main IU Northwest parking lot on 33rd Avenue just west of Broadway and just north of the Savannah Center.

The forum is sponsored by: IU Northwest School of Social Work; IU Northwest School of Nursing; IU Northwest Center for Urban and Regional Excellence; Purdue Northwest School of Nursing; Ivy Tech School of Nursing; Calumet College of St. Joseph; Sigma Theta Tau; Geminus Community Partners; Fra-nciscan St. Margaret Health; The Indiana Kids First Trust Fund; and the Lake County CASA Program.

For more information, call 219-762-3465.

For those outside of the region, live streaming video will be available at:

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